cover image Other Lives

Other Lives

Peter Bagge, . . DC/Vertigo, $29.99 (135pp) ISBN 978-1-4012-1902-4

Bagge (Hate ) again sets his sights on aspects of contemporary human dysfunction, this time focusing on a cast of characters who each hide behind fabricated identities. “Vader Ryderbeck”—né Vladimir Rostov—is a journalist who cannot move past his awkward teenage years and wallows in unwarranted self-loathing while coping with what remains of his Russian immigrant family. Vladimir encounters a scruffy conspiracy theorist who claims to work for the CIA, and can't shake the feeling that he's met the guy before. Upon deciding to interview the conspiracy nut, Vladimir sets in motion an escalating series of events involving himself, the alleged CIA operative, his old friend Woodrow (who is now an online gaming addict) and his live-in girlfriend, Ivy, who resorts to an online fantasy gaming persona for fulfillment when Vladimir fails to make good on his feeble marriage proposal. To say more would give away the surprises Bagge has in store for those who approach this story cold; while not as funny as some of his previous works more based on social commentary, this is prime Bagge that will surprise readers with its artistic maturity and a plot that is in no way predictable. (Apr.)